A l i o n a Y u r t s e v i c h is a composer who has firmly situated herself within the “interdisciplinary” field of music composition, in which music is an alchemical substance that perfectly melts and unifies all other art forms – of word, gesture, image, idea, technology – into a transcendent and satisfying whole, with music itself as a co-dependent member of a broader alliance. Hers is a world in which music continually engages other sense modalities, reaches beyond the purely aural domain and seduces us into multiple responses in body, mind and heart. Each new piece involves a rethinking of form, medium and material, the nature of the performing space, the status of the performer’s body and instrument, the extent of the bleed-through from music into visual or kinetic domains.
Born in Belarus, Aliona Yurtsevich comes from several creative backgrounds. From age of seven, she took her first lessons in piano and composition. Later she studied classical piano and pedagogy at the Academy of Music in Minsk and received her Bachelor in Music in 1993. In 1993 she moved to New York where her creative career shifted towards art, experimental film, multimedia and design.
Being a multidisciplinary artist in her creative approach, music was always one of the very important components of her work. She decided to pursue her passion for music by moving to Netherlands to continued her music studies at Utrecht School of the Arts (NL), faculty of Art Media & Technology, where she studied instrumental and electro-acoustic composition with Barbara Woof, Marcel Wierckx and Yannis Kyriakides. She received Master of Arts in Composition in Context (2007), Master of Music in Composition (2009), and wrote her master thesis on “Sonification of Visual Data in Composition context”. In 2008 she was granted a scholarship for composer's residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) with composer David Lang (US), She took part in workshop series Performer'09 at Walter Maas Huis(NL) (2009), workshops at STEIM, and I-Lab with ensemble INSOMNIO (2008-09). She was selected for International Composer's Academy IMPULS'11 in Graz, where she took lessons with Beat Furrer, Rebecca Saunders, Pierluigi Billone, and where her work TREE/study-III for solo flute and 6 channel live electronics was performed at SIGNALE'11/Graz live electronic festival.
She has written numerous works for chamber ensembles and solo instruments, as well as music for art-films, installations and dance. Her work has been performed in well known venues and festivals in the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary and the USA: festival Incontemporanea'09 /Ovada, Italy; SIGNALE'11 /Graz, AT; TRANSIT'11 /Leuven, BE, November Music'11 / Den Bosch, TOONZETTERS'10 Muziekgebouw aat'IJ / Amsterdam, Theater Kikker/Utrecht, “Luister Salon'08,09” at BimHUis /Amsterdam, Korzo Theater/Den Haag, TrytoneFestival Zaal100/Amsterdam, WEALR festival of electro-acoustic music, San Francisco/US; WAYWARD electro-acoustic flute music festival /Seattle, US, and others.
Her mini-chamber opera VIAGGIO INTERIORE[Awakening of Alice](2009) for chamber ensemble and electronics was in top three nominated works for Dutch Music Prize TOONZETTERS'2010 in Amsterdam /NL, and received 2nd prize at MINIMUSICDRAMA’2009/ ISCM(SIMC)/Ovada,IT. Her collaboration with choreographer Brian Tjon(NL) “...In the stillness between two waves of the sea...”, for which Yurtsevich wrote music and designed costumes, received “Best Duo Dance Production 2010” prize at “SzoloDuo 2010” International dance festival / Budapest.
In 2011 she was commissioned by November Music (Den Bosch) anad TRANSIT'11 festivals to write new work for a virtuoso accordionist Luka Juhart (SLO) "The garden of Earthly Delights" (2011). In 2012 she was commissioned by Gaudeamus Music festival (Utrecht) and Amsterdam Fonds voor the Kunst (AFK) to develop new multi-disciplinary work "PIANO-Dress", for acting pianist Tomoko Honda(BE) and live electronics. In 2012 Gaudeamus Composer's Series presented her Composer-Portrait concert where, amongst others, her new work, "ENTROPY CHANT" for ensemeble Modelo62, was premiered.
As a composer Aliona Yurtevich is developing her own unique style, exploring the traditional abilities of acoustic instruments with the emphasis on theatrical aspect of performance on stage, live electronics, sound spatialization and sound itself. Yurtsevich's work leans towards the experimental multidisciplinary sound-theater exploring musicality of the visual and the visuality of the musical performance. In her work she puts strong emphasis on researching the interrelation between different creative forms and languages in the musical context, where any additional media used are genetically embedded in the score from the start of the creation of the new work.